The field of podiatry involves diagnosing, treating and helping to prevent foot and ankle conditions. Podiatrists provide medical care and can treat a wide range of problems including arthritis, hammertoes, bunions, arch problems, corns and heel spurs. Podiatrists study and train in order to become medical professionals.
Details about the education requirements are below.
Undergraduate Education: Most podiatrists start their education by earning a BS in one of the sciences. While many students choose to major in science-related fields, it is not required. If you hold an unrelated bachelor’s degree, you may have to complete certain science courses before applying to podiatry school.
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree is a requirement if you want to practice as a podiatrist.
Doctoral Programs: A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is a 4-year, specialized medical degree program. The first two years of study are very similar to those of Medical Doctor Degree programs, and in your third and fourth years you take podiatry-specific courses.
Some of the courses are lower-extremity biomechanics, lower-limb anatomy and podiatric trauma. You will also have to complete clinical rotations in areas like radiology and podiatric surgery.
The job outlook in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is bright. Employment of podiatrists will grow 23 percent from 2015 to 2022. This rate is faster than the average for all occupations. The reason is growth and a high demand for medical and surgical care of feet and ankles within an aging population.
Podiatrists will also be helpful for treating patients with problems caused by chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. The average annual salary for podiatrists is around $120,000.